Max Whisper & Riichard Pt 5

Uploaded by rivercultures on 04.01.2011

jbjb we, we did that for seven or eight years, didn t we. Er, and it s very rewarding. Er,
you know, it s I mean, very damaged young people, who, em, and it s quite harsh, because,
what they re having to do is, because of the way the state system works, between leaving
home, which is when they are, er, usually, the Trust takes them when they are they are
fifteen or sixteen Well, was it was it, it was a big, it was a mixture. Em, some of the
kids were er, er, runaways or so alienated, em, there was one, em, young lesbian who,
who, er, from an Asian background and she was just so em, bright. So bright. Very very
bright and we we looked after her in the period af between her A-levels and going to university.
But she, she wouldn t leave home until she actually finished her studies and then, and
then she like, find me somewhere to go. I can t stand it. The home anyway. The ot, em,
er the other the other one, no Leon, who who who d been climbing out of windows since he
was fifteen to get up to Soho and all that kind of stuff, so no, and said no one his,
his, his er mother who actually sounded, we never met her, but she sounded quite a decent
person who couldn t, couldn t cope with his precocious behaviour, certainly precocious
gay behaviour. Some of the other kids were real, had been, were in a care system, got
into adolescence, were presenting as gay, em, and then the Trust picked them up by,
by, by referral from the care agencies. And certain social services. But some of them
very one of one was very very damaged wasn t he, who s, it was awful. He had come from
the most terrifyingly awful circumstances. His father was a paedophile er from, but male
to female. So he was having sex with his own daughter, allegedly. He had er, invite, what
happened was the police were called by neighbours to the house because they saw both children,
the boy and the girl standing on a table in the front window of the house naked. And they
d seen, a known male to male paedophile go into the house. And when the police arrived,
the known male paedophile was naked, standing naked in the hall, and the children were naked
on the table. The father was upstairs asleep in bed and said he knew nothing about it.
He didn t know what was going on. But the, what was, what was interesting was that the
social workers said that the father remarried and his own sister said to him, ll come to
the wedding if you promise not to have any children, from the marriage. So that was his
background. He had actually been brought up to think that that, that these sorts of er,
adult to child relationships were normal. That they were about love. The child couldn
t, the young person, he couldn t understand that it, that actually, there was, this was
not normal behaviour and that s, that that that was something to get beyond. Em, so,
he was so damaged. He was actually for only, he only lived here for about three weeks.
It took months But it was about a year The the placement The relationship was for about
a year training placement before he was placed then, then the aftermath and going But it
was like a hurricane running through the place but he moved in, within minutes practically,
er, the his phone was being called, because he he had a a, what had happened, he got,
he was in and out of secure units as as as his life went on, as a young person, and he
had been, he d run away from one of them, and been set up in a flat in Brighton at fourteen
as a prostitute but couldn t take care of himself because he was a child. So he didn
t know how to eat, or cook food for himself, And he had, I think he got scabies do you
know, somebody called social services because he just wasn t, he couldn t look after himself
and he was getting sick. So somebody called social services so he was rushed back into
a secure unit, but there was people, he was, you know, he then, within minutes or something,
not minutes but days of being here, he was back, the, the, call, the people were getting
him to go into Soho. And he was taking our clothes to sell, you know, to to sort of sell
the what have you, em and it was just We ended up with police protection for a couple of
months because of the, the people he was in contact With. with, because of course we,
I don t know, em Got the phone off him a couple of times in a in, you know, had quite confrontational
about leave, you know, leave leave this kid alone and all that kind of stuff. It s really,
that was really unpleasant. So, so, that was the hardest one. And actually, we, well I
think, I haven t done it, but I really want to talk to the social worker who placed him
with us, because, wha hap, because he, this is the awfulness of that sort of system. What
s be, and he was not, he was not em, he he had learning difficulties. Serious learning
difficulties. He was never ever going to be independent. So he was going to be in a life
of prostitution and drugs and whatever. That s what his destiny was from the background
that he came from and the from the way he was in the world. Er, he went off to Blackpool,
and he was next, last seen collecting glasses in a gay pub, gay club in Blackpool. Em he
got to an age, because I think he was over sixteen by then, he got to an age when, where
social services don t have a legal responsibility. So, their concern is, they can t, if they
can t control or direct his behaviour, he s going to do it anyway, they haven t got
the resources to do it, so he s going to be left to his own devices, because, from their
point of view, he s beyond the system. He s beyond the care system. So there is a real
need, for, sort of mentoring caring, a sort of wider network of people to support young
people, as they are coming out, who are gay or, or whatever, and whatever challenging,
er, circumstances they might find themselves. So that they, if they re not with their families,
because there s no wider network for them to actually lock into. Er That was the wor,
that was the most challenging one though. But some of them were much more Oh, Mustafa
was much much more benign than that. was was was absolutely charming. Yeah. And you know,
actually some of them would would, went back to their parents. They had their time away
and then, and Mustafa did. He went back to his, to be with his mum. And he is South Asian.
He s Asian? No, he was a Gr, he is a Turkish Turkish as well. Turkish? He was Turkish as
well, I think. But you don t do it any more. Er, I think it was after Lee The last, the
last one we had, no, we had some, we had a, a someone stayed with us for a year, and er,
this was the, this was the er, the one we were telling you about who came up to Laurieston
with us, was because we used to do drag and all that kind of stuff. Em, and that worked
really really well. But the placement broke down in Summer, so a, a about a year in, when,
em, he wasn t going, you know, college had stopped. And it was kind of like the usual
teenage thing really. It was like will you get up and do something in the day time. Be
you to, you re going to s not acceptable, seventeen or sixteen to lie in bed all day
then go out all night, dadedadedadeda. And then there was like a row, you know, it s
just absolutely sort of bog standard family stuff, but he flounced off to live with his
boyfriend for the Summer. And he said he didn t want to come back. So as far as the agent,
as far as the Trust were concerned, he s closed the placement. And if you do that, they then
move you, cause it s about, because they are dealing with adolescents so it s moving you
Because it s about independence they ve got to get him to be, to learn that he can t do
this sort of stuff. But actually, he was a runaway. So, I said that, if he wanted to
come back, because what happened was that at the end of the Summer, college was starting
again, so he had his holiday, so he then said, Can I go back now. And we said, fine. Because
actually, this, this is quite a, this is quite good, because, if he s a runaway and he had
run away from his parents or his home, his mum, em, and didn t go back, if he actually
gets to a a point a few weeks later when it actually works out, I can actually go back
and retrieve this. I saw that as a positive thing. But the Trust s rules are that once
somebody has broken the placement in that way and said they won t won t go back there,
and they want to move on, they then, and they also, this is the care system again, they
re moving him towards independence, he was succeed and by the time he was eighteen, he
s got, and he again had learning difficulties, so I was very, I just, I m concerned about
just how independent some, someone is going to be able to be. they moved him on to somewhere
where he was just like a lodger. There was no support network in the household, He was
going to have to look after himself and make decisions for himself, and he wasn t going
to get any guidance and he wasn t going to be able to, be, you know, be treated like
the child in the family. And he was actually going to have to be more independent. Because
what would happen when he was eighteen is that they would find him a place, maybe in
a shared household where there was carer who s looking after people with, several people
in the flat, so there might be four or five people all living in the same flat, and then
they move towards getting their own place hopefully, if would they become more independent.
So, it s not I m complaining about not, sort of criticising the Trust for their, for what
they thought, but I just thought, oh give him a break, you know. It s like it s not,
it wasn Well, they just didn t want to do any work with us around any of, any of that
reconciliation, stuff. It s like it s like the relationship s over and that s that s
felt really And also and it needn t have been. we did fall out with them because I was annoyed
with them, but they, they, that they were, they were portraying his mother as being homophobic
because she was, she couldn t accept him being gay. And I said, but we need to do some work
with her because this is his mother. We actually need to do some bonding work to try to repair
this relationship before, because he s got the rest of his life, you know. Em, and her
being upset that her child was getting out of bed and climbing down the drain pipe or
what ever it was to get out to go to London, to climb out of the win, he said he was climbing
out of the window, whether he was on the ground floor, I don t know, but it that was happening,
any parent would be concerned. And actually, one of the things we learnt from it was that,
that parents really do need to accept their child s sexuality, because if they don t,
then the child will just go off and do it anyway. And then the parents won t know. And
the children and the young people could be in very dangerous situations and the parents
haven t got enu, any clue of what s happening for them or how to support them. So, the most
sensible thing was, was er, who s boy it was, was it Leon s boyfriend? Paul, who came from
West London. Yeah. He was about a year older, er, so Leon was about sixteen or seventeen
and he was eighteen or nineteen, and he met him in Heaven, and they got together. His
parents in West London. He d bee, he said I never came out cause I ve always been gay
so I ve been gay out. This is the generations moving on. He d always been out at school.
He didn t need to come out as a gay man, and his parents encourage him to bring his boyfriends
home. So, so that s where Leon went, for the Summer. Cause we were giving him a hard time
about getting up in the morning, so he thought, I m going to go and stay with him because
they don t give me a hard time about getting up in the morning. It was as simple as that.
And Paul would come and stay here. So, they, for about a year, that s how they lived. They,
they stayed, they, even they sort of spent, they apportioned it out. So that the parents,
you know, the we in a parental role and his parents, Paul s parents shared the responsibility
of, of looking after them in that way. Em, So I thought that was, and they weren t the
only ones. There was, there was somebody else he met who, and their, his, that boy s parents,
that young man s parents were exactly the same. They encou, they wanted to meet the,
the young, the other people that he was seeing which I felt was incredibly sensible, actually.
And, tell me about your future now. The country place. Well. Touch wood. Not that I m superstitious.
Em, well, I m now sixty and sort of moving towards retiring, although, I think that,
with people living for longer and longer, I, I, it s not that I don t want not, intending
not to work, but I just want to be more flexible about how I do work. So, whether it s a three
month contract or two or three days a week for so long whatever, em, but we have horses
which is where all of this sort of stuff started with doing you know, the gay, er, dressage
stuff, em, and, the horses are older, still the same horses, they re old they re getting
older too, er, and we want I want to go enjoy them, er, and have some time in the country.
But also it s just about, if I m not working full time, it s very costly to keep the horses.
s very costly anyway. And, but if but if, if we if we re both working full time, then
we have to keep them in that way because it s just there is, you can t, it s, you know,
we used to do it, er, but it s incredibly onerous to have to look after them in the
evening and the morning then go to work and then go back and get everything ready for
the next day and, er, it s it s a chore, it s not a, it s not enjoyment. It s not, so,
so hopefully, em and Richard walked to work for ten years since he, his job is ten minutes
from where we live, and that s been a luxury. So I think that having driven to the horses
for ten years, it s now time for me to have the horses nearby and for enjoy my retirement
and recoup my investment. Is that how you see it? Yeah, pretty much. Alright then, I
wish you the very best for everything. But we might be back within the year. We re keeping
this place anyway, just in case we need a bolthole because it may work out, you know.
The country may not be like living in London, cause we re, cause having lived here for the,
having, one of the things about this area is because it s so diverse. It s actually
a very safe and very, we ve had a very nice time here for, so there s no, there s no push
factor. It s about other things we would want to do. Er, but if they don t work out, if
we keep this place, we can always come back and have our little, our little house again
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